I often feel the need to confess the disappointment I feel in myself as a targeted parent. I always strived to be the strong one, the one who denied myself and sacrificed what was easy for what I thought was best for everyone at the time. (After reflecting on what I could have used from my own abused mother, I realize now that sometimes what is best for everyone is to model self-care and not teach your child to become a victim or victimizer.)
Coming back from seeing my severely alienated child (now 18), left me overwhelmed. I went trying to control my expectations, and I think I did pretty well. I refrained from putting too much pressure on myself and that helped to invite relaxation, joy, natural expression… It felt surreal. I got to hug her! I served her and gave to her. I listened to her. I shared with her.
The visit and the ending of the visit was also hurtful. It was anxiety-provoking to see my daughter distressed. It was painful to see her reserved and without much warmth or understanding. I mean, does she not realize how her dad involved her to scheme to get me arrested and just how harmful that was to me, her siblings, my mom and her? And the lies she had said about me even to her friends. (Strangely, her very small group of friends seem not even a bit tense or reserved toward me.)
And it took a lot of emotional energy from me to go back home to work where we can be free from the obsessive alienator’s interference, which is provoked tenfold by my proximity.
What does she expect besides me working to support myself, her, and expressing love and support in creative ways when her dad put a stop to our relationship and peace as well as our psychological and financial safety — leaving me with not just a little post traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, despair? How can she be so nonchalant and unforgiving after her dad terrorized us and betrayed all trust? (He is still manipulating and using fraud to exploit.)
Of course there are intellectual answers to these questions. But still, I feel these questions at times when I feel rejected — not getting a measly text for Mother’s Day, a question from her concerning my health (I was a bit sick during my visit), and whether I arrived safely from my journey. Does she care at all for me? I remember feeling very uncared for, very unappreciated by my kids during much of their childhood. They were taught to not appreciate or care for or respect me by the man of the house we depended on. No one in the home was very kind to me. I wanted my birthdays to be about them. Everything was about them. I turned down my radio, turned off the TV, always always always to listen listen listen and be there for them and plan plan plan everything that could give them an academic advantage or joy in their heart and love from as many people as possible. I adjusted and adjusted and adjusted my career — the career I depended on, because as it turned out, I was scammed during the marriage and divorce and it was up to me not only to supervise, discipline, protect, teach, chauffeur and eventually provide solely for myself, but to a large degree solely for my kids. Not fair to them. I wanted them, planned for them to have an enchanted life, without harm. Things went wildly astray. I could have drowned in loneliness, pain, and guilt.
Yesterday, I felt torn between expressing love to my daughter and nurturing this pain I was feeling — I don’t want to keep getting hurt, rejected! I’ve supported her financially and emotionally as best as I could given the circumstance of dealing with sociopathic schemes and obsessive parental alienation abuse. I have not really spoken to her about “my side.” When and if she cares, I think it would help her understand, and then she could be grounded in reality instead of swimming in a swirl of lies. Formerly alienated kids recommend parents take up for themselves by telling their point of view, but my daughter is not ready or open to it at this time. So be it. I believe it will take time for her to see his patterns of interference in our relationship, but I do worry about any more harm her dad may cause with his controlling games….
I know this is not her fault, but I still feel hurt and disappointment. She could be dismissive of me as a parent when she was much, much younger (following her dad’s lead and encouragement even during “marriage.”
I want to rise above these emotions and unproductive thoughts. I do, often. But I want to always. I can’t help but feel like a BIG FAT FAILURE.
Yesterday evening, I came across the following quotes on Twitter:
“Everyday new day is a chance to solidify you by your acts of love and kindness even when it’s a battle to do so.”
“Be loving one another because it’s love that without a doubt covers a multitude of sins. Expressing yourself in the most caring way you can.”
These quotes encourage me during times of feeling especially vulnerable and misunderstood. (I know I am failing to understand my daughter and her vulnerability.)
What do these quotes mean to you in relation to parental alienation?
What do you do to nurture yourself so that you can keep your heart and arms wide open?